The higher you are, the more you overestimate yourself
Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-29
Is this why the bastards high up in penthouse and executive suites think they are better than everyone else – because of where they spend their time? Perhaps even why "upstairs" thinks "downstairs" are worth less?
"Higher Height, Higher Ability: Judgment Confidence as a Function of Spatial Height Perception" (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022125) looks at self-perception of ability, and shows being higher (or even thinking you are up higher) makes you pump up estimates of your own judgement and abilities.
Based on grounded cognition theories, the current study showed that judgments about ability were regulated by the subjects’ perceptions of their spatial height. In Experiment 1, we found that after seeing the ground from a higher rather than lower floor, people had higher expectations about their performance on a knowledge test and assigned themselves higher rank positions in a peer comparison evaluation. In Experiment 2, we examined the boundary conditions of the spatial height effects and showed that it could still occur even if we employed photos rather than actual building floors to manipulate the perceptions of spatial heights.
So… it would be interesting to do followup studies on wage differentials, workplace attitudes (including friction, resentfulness, arrogance) from staff to senior management, and from senior management to staff, based on building layout.
What effect does this have on resistance of those on high to requests or suggestions from those on the ground floor, and what might this do to organizational efficiency?
Hell, in city blocks, adjusting for rent differences and wages, do voting intentions change? Might this paper affect town planning for high-rise buildings, one party pushing it more than another, even pushing it more or less depending on how marginal a seat is?
No wonder Kirk never took any real notice of Scotty down in the engine saying "She canna handle any more o’ this Cap’n"!